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Author Archive: Msgr. Charles Pope

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On the Balance of Kindness and Correction

September 10, 2017 4 Comments
On the Balance of Kindness and Correction

As a follow-up from Sunday’s Gospel (on correcting the sinner) it is important to reflect on balancing salutary discipline with necessary consolation and encouragement—never an easy task. For example, it is possible for parents to be so severe with their children that they become disheartened and lack necessary self-esteem; but it is also possible for […]

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The Obligation of Clear, Compassionate Correction of the Sinner – A Homily for the 23rd Sunday of the Year

September 9, 2017 4 Comments
The Obligation of Clear, Compassionate Correction of the Sinner – A Homily for the 23rd Sunday of the Year

We live in times in which there is a widespread notion that to correct sinners is to “judge” them. Never mind that it is sin that we judge, not the sinner. Never mind that in accusing us of judging, the worldly-minded are themselves doing the very judging they condemn. Never mind any of that; the […]

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Earth, Air, Fire, and Water: Great and Yet Terrifying Blessings

September 8, 2017 0 Comments
Earth, Air, Fire, and Water: Great and Yet Terrifying Blessings

Given the terrible storm that has devastated parts of the Caribbean and is bearing down on Florida as I write, it is possible that questions come to mind. There is certainly a violent component to life on this planet. We might even play on the words of an ancient hymn Dies Irae, dies illa. Yet […]

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Distinguishing Between Healthy and Unhealthy Guilt

September 7, 2017 0 Comments
Distinguishing Between Healthy and Unhealthy Guilt

One of the trickier terrains to navigate in the moral world is the experience of guilt, in its sense of sorrow for sin. On the one hand, we should experience an appropriate for sorrow, but on the other there are types of guilt that are self-destructive and inauthentic; these come either from our flesh or […]

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On Priestly Discretion

September 6, 2017 4 Comments
On Priestly Discretion

To be discreet most commonly means to be careful, prudent, or circumspect, especially in terms of speech. The word discreet comes from Latin discretus, meaning separate or distinct. To be discreet is not to be secretive; it is to make a prudent discernment about what to say to whom and when to say it. Personal, […]

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When Jesus Said No

September 5, 2017 14 Comments
When Jesus Said No

One of the difficulties that many Christians experience is that although the needs around us are great, we are limited in both personal strength and resources. Lurking in the back of our minds is the idea that whatever the problem, Jesus would always help and therefore we should as well. Is it always wrong to […]

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Who is the Thief? Exploring One of Jesus’ More Provocative Images

September 4, 2017 3 Comments
Who is the Thief? Exploring One of Jesus’ More Provocative Images

One of the more interesting and surprising images the Lord used for Himself was “thief.” There is an indirect reference to this in the first reading for Tuesday of the 22nd week of the year. I’ll comment more on that passage in a moment, but first here are some other texts in which He used […]

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Labor Day Reflection: We need each other to survive

September 3, 2017 1 Comment
Labor Day Reflection: We need each other to survive

Labor Day makes me mindful of our interconnectedness; we need one another in order to survive. Consider how we are each called to contribute as well as how we benefit from the labor of others. Even that simple can of corn you pull from the grocery store shelf has thousands of people standing behind it: […]

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